Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Hello San Fran! You Will Kill Me!

Hello world! I thought it would be a great idea to share with the general public the crazy race I have chosen to take on. A buddy of mine posted the "elevation map" of the Nike Woman's Marathon ... granted I am only doing the 1st 13.1 miles of the 26 but check out that hill around the 6 mile mark. They want me to climb up that? I knew San Fran was hilly, but holy moly this is hilly! Granted, Atlanta is a hilly area I do not think I have hill trained enough for this. I am going to really have to incorporate some BIG hills into the last 3 weeks training.

I really had not real reason to "blog" or post. I just wanted to share this out of control crazy map of the streets and elevation. I am in for a total work out and I have a feeling the flight back from San Fran to Atlanta will be an uncomfortable one. On a positive note the 1st half of my half marathon does not appear to be too challenging but the last half of it is going to be a whooping.

Also... if you're interested and want to help. I am at 89% till reaching my fundraising goal. Please please please consider donating to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society - I personally think it would be so awesome to have a part in helping find a cure for these awful cancers. Team in Training actually funded the research for the oral chemo pill my friend is currently taking; I think it would be pretty cool to find an even better therapy for her! You can donate here:

On another total side note, my September mileage went down (not a good thing) but I got faster (which is a good thing). I took off 2 races of my race history tab thing on the right. I took off the Brookhaven Bolt 5k and the Just People 5k. I do not know my exact times on those races and I want to be exact. Mainly to track my improvement/personal best/rough races ...

Saturday, September 26, 2009

I Ran A Race ( First Ever 10K! )

I participated and ran (and walked) in my first ever 10K this past Saturday with my friend Erin (who came running out of the womb). To be completely honest with you, it was pretty rough. I would say we (...well me making her) walked 75% of it. I started off strong, but right before the 1st mile I made us stop. Erin told me it is all a mental issue for me and had I pushed through and not stopped I probably would have been fine. It was also my first time ever not running with an Ipod and needless to say, I never want to do that again. No offense Erin, you were great company... but something about certain songs make me hustle and move it. Music excuses aside... I do not know why I was so out of my groove. We had a 13 minute and some pace which I have not had that slow of a pace in a while (recently I have been in the 11 min and some mile). And I wanted to walk so so so much more than I normally do - for some reason I just could not push myself to run longer/farther than I did. According to my Garmin, we finished in 1:21:21 ... but chip time was 1:22:(something). For some reason I think I said I wanted to knock it out in under or at a hour and a half ... so I guess I beat my goal/expectations.

Saturday was just not my day though. I woke up a little late. Didn't feel rushed since the start was around the corner from me, but still. Erin and I could not figure out how to use the chips for our shoes. I put my toast in the toaster and left it there (and realized it at the starting line) ... so I did not eat or drink before the race. Then I somehow dropped both my credit card and drivers license while walking to the start. At this time, I have my credit card but no license. I had issues breathing. My legs were tired and heavy. And there was no water past mile 3. It was humid too.

Needless to say. It was an accomplishment for me. Just covering 6.2 miles is a total accomplishment. It was great to see Erin after all the months, it was great to catch up, and we had some good laughs. But, it smacked me in the face saying that I will die in San Fran in a few weeks.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Rain Rain Go Away...

I have about 3 weeks till my race. 3 weeks children. 3 weeks. And all last week it rained. And all this week it is going to rain. And when I say "rained/rain" I do not mean the little drizzle that is relaxing and okay to run in... I mean downpour... your windshield wipers are on the fastest setting kind of rain. CNN, Fox News, Good Morning America ... they're all talking about the rain in the south and the floods in Atlanta. ...Speaking of floods my area actually has 3 flash flood warnings going on right now. My office actually flooded over the weekend. There was like a mud slide in the Stone Mountain area. Schools were closed there has been so much rain. So this raises the question... how do you train for a half marathon when it is pouring outside?!

I am supposed to have a 10k this weekend but I wonder if it is even going to happen. Heck or if it is worth waking up for. They can have my race sign up fee (it goes to a great cause) and keep their tech shirt. I don't want to catch a cold.

I hate the treadmill but it is the only way. And what makes matters worse is that my apartment complex is so freaking ghetto the machines are broken and they're too cheap to either (a) get them fixed or (b) replace them!!! And on top of the 1 treadmill available the gym is so small that when it rains it gets hot and humid. I ran for 8 minutes last week on it and it looked like I had just jumped in the pool. As much as I do not want to do it I am going to have to suck it up. Prop the door open with a dumbbell, get the air flow going, and just run.

My race is on the 18th of October and I feel like I can so totally knock it out but I want know know that I can so totally knock it out. And this Atlanta weather is killing me and my motivation to do anything.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

four awesome training tips.

So. I "know" this runner chick, Tammy, and I put it in quotes because I have never met her - but her and I chit chat back and forth via twitter (follow her on twitter @tammymullins), dailymile, and on our blogs. She is probably one of the most disciplined and dedicated people I have ever run across and she is a kick butt runner. She emailed me 4 training tips that I had (a) thought of but not implemented (b) never thought of or (c) had heard of but left it as in one ear out the other. I thought they were worth sharing and I will probably look back on them in the future.
::as an edit... I did shorten some of the tips...but I left in the 'meat' of the tips::

1. You have to schedule your runs in your calendar! Schedule it like you would an appointment.
2. You have to run 3-4 days per week (and I would err on the side of 4 days per week). Your longest run before your half marathon should be 11-12 miles. As a rule of thumb, your long run shouldn't be more than half of your total weekly mileage. So, if you're running an 11 mile run on your long run day, you should be logging more than 22 miles that week.
3. Your runs have to have a purpose. Generally, you can't just walk out the door with no plan on how fast or how long you're going to run. I know that Sunday is my long run day and I'm running x amount of miles at a specific pace. The long slow runs help you build endurance. I know on Tuesdays I'm going to either run hills or do a track workout (speedwork), and I know how many miles and at what pace I'm going to do. Hill and speed workouts help you get faster, and if you're going to run a hilly race course you HAVE to train on hills. I have read that hill workouts provide just as much benefit as speed workouts, so you can do one or the other. That's 3 days of running that have a specific purpose, the other two days I just run short easy paced runs to get my mileage in. If your course is hilly, I would run hills on the days it says speedwork instead of going to the track. Or, if you’re feeling frisky, add another day of running and do 2-3 miles of hills that day.
4. Your weekly mileage is what counts! You're never going to reach your goal running 10 miles per week. You have to gradually increase your weekly mileage, though, or you can injure yourself. The more running you do, especially at different paces, the faster and easier it's going to get. Log more miles, and I guarantee you will get faster.

Some definitions that I have always been wondering about:
Tempo run: A tempo run is run at a pace that is faster than your long run, but slower than the pace you would run during speedwork. It's kind of in the middle, maybe even close to your race pace.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

10k - cannot check off list.

You read the title right. The 10k did not happen yesterday. I am so bummed about it you have no idea. Race start was 7:45 am. I thought leaving my house by 7:00 would give me plenty of time to get there, park, get on a shuttle, stretch, and be ready to run up some hills. But, I really never venture to that part of Atlanta and I got insanely lost. Roads were closed. The directions included in the packet sent to me were less than stellar. And at 8:00 when I was still on 285 and now crossing over Cobb Parkway I could see the hundreds of runners descending the first hill and I felt defeated. I know I know... you can normally start races late and with my Garmin I could have accurately known how long it took me... but with the sense of failure and still being lost and knowing there were killer hills I figured it just was not meant to be and headed back home. I am a true believer that all things happen for a reason and there must have been some reason why I was not to run that race. There is always next year right?

....however. I am running the Big Peach Sizzler 10k at the end of this month. And there is no way I can get lost since it literally starts in my backyard. So I have longer to train for my first 10k and it won't be such a butt kicker. Or so I hope. I kinda want to finish that run with a grub meal from Flying Biscut. Barbie, let's just try to get to the starting line before the race starts this time.

Last blog I was talking about how I am stuck at a 12-13 minute mile. And my twitter, dailymile, and blogger pal Tammy mentioned speed work and how long my long runs are currently. I felt like discussing my lack of long runs because honestly, the farthest I have run is a little under 6 miles. I think I could go farther but it just gets so dark earlier and I don't want to be out running alone in the dark in Atlanta so I tend to pack up shop and head back to my car. Yeah... and I have to run 13.1 in a little over a month. I have no excuses I really have not taken this half marathon nearly as serious as I should have.

She also mentioned that I need to be running 3-4 times per week to really work on it. I run at the least 3 times per week - life just seems to get in the way sometimes. ....And then there is speed work. Which I do not think I quite understand what it is or how to do it so I have been googling it (I found this article which gives some insight). I am wondering if this is something that I need to do on the local high school track or do I need to incorporate hills since I am running in San Francisco.

I guess I really am a newbie at this running, racing thing.

Lastly: in honor of blood cancer awareness month think about donating to the cause that is fighting the fight against blood cancers and help the researchers find a cure and give those battling a blood cancer hope for a brighter future!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Girl with the 12 - 13 minute mile.

I realized that I have not done a running song of the moment in awhile. I will get back to doing that eventually... maybe... for now Jordin Sparks & Miley Cyrus are still rocking my world one stride at a time. HA!

So. Girl with the 12 - 13 minute mile. That's me. Slow Poke McGee strutting down Peachtree. Honestly. I thought after all this time my pace would someone decrease (is that even the word) ... you know improve. I am stuck in the 12-13 minute avg. pace when I run and I mean yeah...sure... I walk and I walk more than I should, but you would also think after all this time my stamina would improve as well.

I have my first ever 10k on Saturday. The US 10k Classic on Cobb Parkway. I have heard mixed reviews. Some people say it isn't as bad as everyone makes it out to be - others say it is hellish. However, I have two buddies who are doing it as well -- not necessarily with me but they're doing it. I'll take pictures. I'll post them. I need proof of this little adventure of mine. stay tuned. race report on Monday.

Well... it has been an exciting week for Ms. Barbara Ann. And let me tell you why.
  1. I hit the 100 mile mark since tracking my training. Sure it took me like 3 months to get there, but in all seriousness - how serious have I really been about this half marathon training?? Now I gotta get to 200 and I hope that does not take 3 months as well.
  2. The weather has been amazing. It has been great temps for great runs. When it is 70 degrees and breezy how can you not go out and run?
  3. I got my roomie for my trip to San Fran. Well... the GA Chapter has not communicated it to me but Beka has via Facebook. She told me we're roomies so I am taking her word for it. Yay for getting to room with the reason I am running miles after miles!
  4. I have run 3 days in a row this week for a total of 10 miles. Lately I have been running 10 miles all week. Stepping up in this running world.
  5. I learned that the pocket in my Nike tempo shorts is a perfect little place for my keyless entry fob to my car. No more tying it to my shoe lace and praying it is still there when I am done running.
  6. I ran and ran and ran yesterday. When I got back to the parking lot where my car was... I wanted to keep going. So I did. I have never wanted to keep going.